With football, men’s basketball, and volleyball all going on, I admit I just haven’t had a lot of time to follow the women’s basketball team to start the season. At some point it just becomes too much T.V. for me, but now that fall sports are wrapping up, I can start to focus my time on the women’s program. I really enjoyed following them last year and seeing their growth over the season getting back into the NCAA tournament. With the new recruits here, I can’t wait to see where this team goes this year. So, let’s dive in to see how they are doing to start the season.
Purdue is coming off a convincing win over Valparaiso after a big second half performance. The Boilers shot over 60% from the field and scored 50 points to pull away from the Beacons. Mary Ashley Stevenson went for a double-double scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while Rashundo Jones went perfect at the charity stripe finishing with 22 points. The freshman duo helped propel Purdue to their third straight win.
We knew once Coach Gerald’s started getting her women in that she could help turn this program around and it looks like she’s doing just that. Stevenson’s points-rebounds double-double was the first for a freshman since 2009. Rashunda Jones has also been a huge impact scoring 20+ points two games this season and the first time for a freshman since 2017-2018. Jones has that killer mentality that we sometime lacked at times last year and can take over a game.
Right now, veteran player Abbey Ellis is leading the team averaging 15 points per game and shooting 88% from the line. Maddie Layden is hitting 46% from beyond the arc and has made 18 3-pointers so far, this season.
Purdue also has wins over Southern U, Texas A&M, Southern IN, and Dayton making them 5-3 on the season thus far. Purdue looks to extend their win streak tomorrow against Southeast Missouri State. The game will be aired on B1G+ with tip-off set for 7pm. The Boilers then have their first Conference game Sunday against Minnesota in Minneapolis. Purdue then will finish off their non-conference slate against Notre Dame and Indiana State before the Holidays.